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Monday, June 21, 2021 

The Nippon Foundation-Gebco Seabed 2030 Project has agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) and Teledyne Caris, a developer of marine mapping software.

The MoU – announced on 21 June, World Hydrography Day – will see the parties work together to advance the effort associated with producing a definitive map of the seafloor by the year 2030. The announcement coincides with the release of the latest Gebco Grid figure – with 20.6% of the world’s entire seabed now mapped. When Seabed 2030 was launched in 2017, only 6% of the oceans had been mapped to modern standards. The latest figure has seen a growth of 1.6% from last year’s data – an increase equating to around half the size of USA.

Seabed 2030 is a collaborative project between The Nippon Foundation and Gebco to inspire the complete mapping of the world's ocean by 2030, and to compile all bathymetric data into the freely available Gebco Ocean Map. Gebco is a joint project of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), and is the only organisation with a mandate to map the entire ocean floor. UKHO specialises in marine geospatial data, from seabed to surface, to help others make best use of the marine environment. UKHO makes this data available through the portfolio of Admiralty Maritime Data Solutions, said to be used on over 90% of ships trading internationally. Teledyne Caris’ Hydrographic Production Database (HPD) is used extensively by UKHO to produce charts. One of Teledyne CARIS’s newest products – CARIS Onboard360 – is a near real-time and autonomous data acquisition and processing package.

Seabed 2030 Project Director Jamie McMichael-Phillips said: “Seabed 2030 is delighted to announce this new partnership with UKHO and Teledyne Caris on the occasion of World Hydrography Day. As we enter the newly-launched UN Decade, but also final decade of Seabed 2030, we remain humbly aware of what we have yet to achieve – just under 80% of the world’s seabed still to be mapped."

As part of the new agreement, the three organisations will use a new AI tool developed by Teledyne Caris and the UKHO as part of the Admiralty Maritime Data Solutions portfolio. The AI-Based Bathymetry Data Noise Cleaning Capability is thought to benefit Seabed 2030 by providing processing efficiency of incoming multibeam bathymetry dataset typical of the type to be received by the Project. All data collected and shared with the Seabed 2030 Project is included in the Gebco global grid, considered to be the most complete bathymetric dataset of the world’s ocean floor.

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